Supervised injection rooms are legally sanctioned facilities where people who use intravenous drugs can inject pre-obtained drugs under medical supervision. Supervised injection facilities are designed to reduce the health and societal problems associated with injection drug use. These facilities now operate in dozens of cities abroad and in Canada and have been shown to reduce injection-related risks and harms like vein damage, overdose, and transmission of diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. No such facilities currently exist in the United States, but the Drug Policy Alliance is advocating for supervised injection pilot programs in San Francisco and New York City. We are working to expand the national dialogue on drug control to include policies and programs that mitigate the harms of drug use without mandating abstinence.
Increasing Heroin Use, Unprecedented Homelessness Crisis Drive Preventable Overdose Deaths, Disease Transmission, and Public Disorder
New York, NY – The documentary film Everywhere But Safe: Public Injecting in New York premieres on August 25 at the Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem. Filmed in New York City, Albany, Schenectady, and Columbia County, NY, the film documents the health and safety consequences for the thousands of New Yorkers who inject drugs in public and semi-public places due to homelessness and other factors.
Harm reduction services and syringe exchange are more than just a prevention strategy. Access to these vital services enables HIV testing, linkage to care and other critical health/social services, as well as affirming the human rights and dignity of people who use drugs.
Advocates: Public Health Goals Are Positive, But Overreliance on Law Enforcement Destined to Fail
Obama Administration Urged to Take More Meaningful Steps to Treat Drug Use as a Health Issue
Washington, D.C. – The Obama Administration announced a new program today to fund “public health-public safety partnerships” to address the heroin and prescription opioid crisis. The new program would hire 15 drug intelligence officers and 15 health policy analysts to work within High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) programs. The drug intelligence officers are expected to gather information on trafficking patterns and trends for street-level law enforcement.
Study Focused on Six Countries and Found Reductions in Illegal Drug Use, Crime and Health Care Costs Without Harming Public Safety
Nevada State Senate Considered Legislation for Heroin-Assisted Treatment Trial Project
A seminal review recently published in the prestigious British Journal of Psychiatry confirms that heroin-assisted treatment, also known as supervised injectable heroin treatment or heroin-maintenance, is an effective treatment for patients who have not responded to standard treatment options such as methadone or residential rehabilitation. Heroin-assisted treatment refers to the supervised administration of pharmaceutical-grade heroin to a small group of particularly difficult-to-treat chronic heroin users.
Members of the Affected Community, International Experts, Treatment Providers, State Leaders and Physicians Gather to Discuss Opioid Use, Harm Reduction Strategies, Overdose Prevention, Supervised Injection Facilities, Heroin Assisted Treatment and Best Practices From Around the World
Daylong Symposium to be Held at Denver’s History Colorado Center, Thursday, March 5, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Denver, CO – The Drug Policy Alliance, Harm Reduction Action Center and the Center for Public Health Practice will convene stakeholders to deliberate on the current impact of opioids and more effective responses to opioid use and dependency in Colorado. The Opioid Symposium is a daylong event on Thursday, March 5th at the History Colorado Center in Denver.
Global Commission on Drug Policy
This report reflects a new evolution in the thinking of the Global Commission, which includes Kofi Annan, Richard Branson, and the former presidents of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Switzerland. They not only reiterate their demands for decriminalization, alternatives to incarceration, and greater emphasis on public health approaches – but now also call for responsible legal regulation of currently-illegal drugs.
There is an extensive body of literature documenting the stigma associated with alcohol and other drug problems. No physical or psychiatric condition is more associated with social disapproval and discrimination than substance dependence. For people who use drugs, or are recovering from problematic drug use, stigma can be a barrier to a wide range of opportunities and rights.
Drug Policy Alliance, American Civil Liberties Union
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) represents a remarkable opportunity for criminal justice and drug policy reform advocates to advance efforts to enact policy changes that promote safe and healthy communities, without excessively relying on criminal justice solutions that have become so prevalent under the war on drugs, and which fall so disproportionately on low-income communities and communities of color.
The American Public Health Association (APHA) conference in San Francisco next week showcases a controversial public health intervention for people who inject drugs. Supervised injection facilities (SIFs) are an effective public health intervention where people can inject drugs using sterile equipment and with medical supervision, but none currently operate in the United States because of political and legal barriers. A model SIF will be on display in the APHA Exhibit Hall and will be available for media tours.
Supervised injection facilities (SIFs) are controlled health care settings where people can more safely inject drugs under clinical supervision and receive health care, counseling and referrals to health and social services, including drug treatment. There is overwhelming evidence that SIFs are effective in reducing new HIV infections, overdose deaths and public nuisance – and that they do not increase drug use or criminal activity. There are currently 92 such facilities operating in 62 cities around the world – but none in the U.S.